A reader emailed in, asking how he could use 3/16″ shank Dremel Trio router bits with his Dremel rotary tool. The answer: you can’t. (Or can you?) The discussion got me thinking about 1/8″ shank router bits and whether there were any you can find (and trust) besides Dremel’s.
Note: For safe and stable operation you really should consider using a router base or attachment when using router bits with a rotary tool.
Dremel Router Bits
I never tried these myself but have heard good things about them. The bits are commonly found as part of a 6-piece set and include, from left to right: a beading bit, corner rounding bit, core box bit, chamfer bit, 1/8″ straight it, 1/4″ straight bit.
These bits are made from high-speed steel and aren’t too pricey. The set is priced at $22-25 and individual bits are $6-8. There are a couple of additional bits, such as a v-groove router bit, but the selection is rather limited.
Available via Amazon and most home centers.
Steelex 10-Piece Set
It’s hard to say whether this Steelex mini router bit set is the same as the other import sets that sell for a fraction of the price, but it at least looks different.
This 10-piece set has been on my wishlist for quite some time, but I’ve never needed 1/8″ shank router bits enough to give it a try.
It looks to offer a cove bit, roundover bit beading bit, 3 straight bits, a rabetting bit, and 3 grooving bits.
For a little more money than the Dremel set you get an extra four router bits.
Buy Now (via Amazon)
MLCS Mini Router Bits
MLCS is a very well-known name when it comes to router bits and accessories. They offer a couple of other products, but router bits seem to be their core business.
Their 8-piece assortment includes: round over, roman ogee, chamfer, 1/8″ and 1/4″ straight, 1/4″ round nose, 1/4″ V-groove, and 1/8″ point cutting bit profiles. Each bit is also available separately.
You’ll pay extra for MLCS quality: the 8-piece set is $80 and individual bits are $8-$18 each. All of these bits are two-flute (except for the single-flue 1/8″ straight bit), with carbide tips. The edge-routing bits have 5/32″ brass pilots for smooth guidance.
If you’re serious about routing with a Dremel or other 1/8″ rotary tool, these are probably the best bits on the market.